Signing up for a safer smoking substitute

October 07, 2018

A spectacle is sweeping the world.

The spectacle of a tobacco-free, nicotine-negative planet.

And this country would not let itself be left behind in a thick toxic haze while the rest of the world shifts to a bright, clear, shining picture free of carcinogens and other deadly chemicals.

Indeed, all humanity survives and prevails because of the trailblazing, conventional wisdom-defying, and culturally contrarian initiatives of a few brave, bold, intrepid individuals and entities.

And so it came to pass that a few, brave, and bold Filipinos signed up and got on board a global bandwagon to unshackle smokers from their addiction to tobacco and nicotine and promote healthier, more pleasurable lifestyle alternatives.

The Philippine E-Cigarette Industry Association Inc. headed by its president Joey Dulay has joined an international push for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to reform its stance on vaping regulation.

This will be the first time that international consumer groups and leaders of the vaping industry join forces to reform discordant global health policies. Organisations from across North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia have signed the UK Vaping Industry Association’s call to action.

The WHO’s tobacco control group will be meeting at the 8th session of its Conference of the Parties (COP8) in Geneva (1-6 October) to explore international guidance on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (aka vaping products/e-cigarettes). Despite having recognised vaping’s potential for reducing smoking rates, the WHO tobacco control group took the contradictory stance in 2016 that member states could also ban vaping products outright as part of a tobacco control plan.

The Who’s position is at odds with member states, in particular those such as the UK and New Zealand, who advocate smokers switching to vaping as part of harm-reduction policy.  The UAE, Philippines and Australia are also currently considering lifting their bans or restrictions on vaping, for instance.

International vaping bodies have come together out of concern that the WHO’s stance may compromise the progress made by countries who have embraced vaping, by opening the door to potential bans.

Vapers believe the WHO tobacco control group’s messaging is not only detrimental to public health, but unaccountable, least of all to the consumers whose taxes fund but do not appear to influence its policies.

Dulay said: “We and our international co-signatories are proud to stand up for vaping as a route for smokers seeking a less harmful alternative. We are keen to work with the the WHO to ensure that its policy decisions at the Geneva congress reflect the evidence and good common sense.”

The global call to action urges the WHO tobacco control group to acknowledge vaping as part of an effective harm reduction strategy, to reverse its previous decision to invite bans and restrictions on vaping; and to recommend that member states regulate tobacco and vaping products separately.

The signatories include

ANAFE-Confindustria - Italy

Asian Vape Association (AVA) - Asia

Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA) - Australia

Australian Vaping Advocacy, Trade and Research (AVATAR) - Australia

Canadian Vaping Association - Canada

Global Vaping Standards Association (GVSA) - USA

GO for France Vapotage - France

Koora Elektronické Koureni (KELK) – Czech Republic

Malaysia E-Vaporizers and Tobacco Alternatives (MEVTA) - Malaysia

Philippine E-Cigarette Industry Association (PECIA) - Philippines

Udruga Korisnika Osobnih Isparivaca (CROHM) - Croatia

Vape Business Ireland (VBI) – Ireland

Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ) – New Zealand

Verband des eZigarettenhandels (VdeH) - Germany.

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Behold God’s glory and seek His mercy.

Pause and pray, people